nl en


For information on courses and requirements of each specialisation, please follow the links below. Please note that these are based on the Education and Examination Regulations for 2023-2024.

The Master Physics programme consists of the specialisations mentioned below.

A more detailed overview of the programme structure of each specialisation can be found in the appendices of the Course and Examination Regulations of the Physics Master programme

For information on courses and requirements of each specialisation, please follow the links below:

Research Specialisations

Biological and Soft Matter Physics

Casimir pre-PhD

Classical/Quantum information


Quantum Matter and Optics

Theoretical Physics

Interdisciplinary Specialisations

Physics and Education

Physics and Business Studies

Physics and Science Communication and Society

For questions contact the Study Advisor Physics

First semester courses 2023-2024

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Advanced Optics 6
Advanced Topics in Theoretical Physics I 6
Biophysics 6
Complex Networks (BM) 6
Condensed Matter Physics 6
Effective Field Theory 3
Origin and Structure of the Standard Model 3
Quantum Information 3
Quantum Theory 6
Statistical Physics a 6
Statistical Physics b 3
Theory of General Relativity 6

Inter-faculty Electives

Computational Chemistry and Molecular Simulations (CCMS) 6
Density Functional Theory in Practice (DIP) 6
Science Methodology (SCM) 4

Second semester courses 2023-2024

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Academic and Professional Skills (Science) 3
Advanced Topics in Theoretical Physics II 6
Applied Quantum Algorithms 6
Black Holes and Gravitational Waves 3
Computational Physics (3 EC) 3
Computational Physics (6 EC) 6
Frontiers of Measurement Techniques 3
Mechanical Metamaterials 6
Particle Physics and Early Universe 3
Physics and Classical / Quantum Information 6
Physics of Finance 3
Quantum Field Theory 6
Quantum Optics 6
Soft and Biomatter Theory 6
Superconductivity 3
Theory of Condensed Matter 6
Topics in Theoretical Physics: Cosmological Windows into Fundamental Physics 6
Science and the public: contemporary and historical perspectives 6

MSc Research Projects

Admission requirements
Depending on your specialization, you do one or two MSc research projects in the second study year. You can only start the research project when you are on track, i.e., when you have acquired close to 60 ECs of your MSc Physics program. In exceptional cases, you can also start a project after half a year of study. Master's Research Project can only be started in consultation with the study advisor.

The Master's Research Project is an integral and vital part of your training as an Physics master's student at Leiden University. During a period of typically 4-9 months, you engage in state-of-the-art research at LION, the Physics Institute of Leiden University. You will be supervised by a scientific staff member and hosted in a research group, where you will participate in new or ongoing research, regular group meetings, seminars, and other activities. Each Master's Research Project is concluded with a Master's Thesis and a Student Presentation.

Each project must be approved by the study advisor before the start.
For some specializations, at least one of the two research projects has to be carried out in an experimental group. All research projects are performed under the responsibility of a LION staff member. One project must be carried out in a LION group. Up to one project can be carried out outside LION.

Practical information

  • Information regarding the conditions for each specialization please check the OER

  • Relevant information on procedures and forms for the registration, assessment etc. can be found on the master's research projects page on the Physics student's website

  • For general questions or in case of problems during your research that you would prefer to discuss confidentially, contact our Physics study advisor Hara Papathanasiou.

Course Level

Level indication

The level of an individual course is indicated with a number ranging from 100 to 600 as follows:

  • Level 100 Introductory course; no course prerequisites Intensive supervision, textbooks in Dutch, guided work groups, etc Mostly first year courses, some second year (bachelor’s)

  • Level 200 Introductory course; no specific course prerequisistes Independent study techniques required, books in English may be used Mostly second year courses, some first year (bachelor’s)

  • Level 300 Course for advanced students; course prerequisites at level 100 or 200 Books in various languages (only if relevant) Examinations test the student’s skills in applying acquired knowledge and insights into new problems

  • Level 400 Specialised course; course prerequisites at level 200 or 300. Books mostly in languages other than Dutch; extensive use of scientific articles. Examination may include a small research project, an oral report, or written papers. Third year bachelor’s or first year master’s course

  • Level 500 Master course: scientifically oriented course. Course prerequisites at level 300/400. Scientific advanced specialist/professional literature

  • Level 600 Master course: very advanced scientific course with as prerequisite a level 400/500 course. Latest developments in scientific field. Examination consists of a contribution to an unsolved problem, with an oral presentation.

Career Orientation

During the Master Physics we want to provide you with the best possible preparation for the job market. In addition to knowledge, it is important that you develop skills, gain practical experience, orientate on positions & careers, and reflect on your own profile and development. In addition to substantive knowledge, it is also important to be aware of the so-called transferable skills that you develop outside and during your education. These are, for example, your cognitive skills such as critical thinking and communication. Altogether, this contributes to your development as a professional and offers good preparation for the labour market.

The programme offers a solid background and a thorough experience at the forefront of physics research in the respective specialisation, including practical training in communication and computational skills. The programme aims at training students as independent researchers and provides them with the necessary skills to advance their career. Upon completion of the degree, the MSc graduate will be well equipped to start a PhD, work in research and development, or in other branches of the public and private sector that require strong analytical, computational, and problem-solving skills.

At various times during your studies, questions about this subject may arise, such as: How can you use the knowledge and skills you gain within and outside your study program in the labor market? Which direction do you choose within your study and why? What are you already able to do, and what skills do you still want to learn? How do you translate the courses you choose into something you would like to do later?

You may have already discussed this with the study advisor, mentor, tutor, the Science Career Service, fellow students or made use of the Leiden University Career Zone. All kinds of activities are organized where you get the chance to orientate yourself on the job market and gives opportunities to reflect on your own development, possibilities and (study) career profile as well. Central to this are the questions: "What are my capabilities?", "What do I want?" and "How do I achieve my goals?".

In the prospectus, learning objectives have been formulated for each subject, the purpose of which is to inform you which components are covered in the development of your (study) career profile and preparation for the labour market. Various activities are also organized that help you in making all kinds of career choices and to develop skills. An overview of activities is shown below.


  • As part of the Course Academic and Professional Skills APS
    o Lectures by and discussion with alumni about their career development
    o Group work on a project that relates to physics education
    o Networking
    o Reflection on writing one's CV
    o Reflection on job interview preparation
    o Insights into teamwork (roles, rules, personal and interpersonal skills)

  • Multisession workshop “Applying for a job”

  • Meetings with Study Advisor

  • Series of colloquia by visiting scholars

  • Physics Science Day

  • Mentoring or Tutoring

  • Individual contact with Alumni as needed

  • Science Career Event

  • BètaBanenmarkt

  • Subject-specific conferences Physics@Veldhoven, Fysica, Nederlandse Astronomen Conferentie

  • Research project
    o Skills that are actual and linked to current research questions
    o Independence
    o Group work
    o Presentation skills
    o Networking

  • Company internship

  • Research Project abroad

  • Opportunities to work as a Teaching Assistant and as a tutor for 1st year BSc students

  • Workshops and Career Events Science Career Service

Science Career Service

Science Career Service, one of the utilities of the Science faculty, offers information and advice on study (re)orientation, career planning and personal professional profile as well as preparation for the job market, such as job applications. Facilities provided to students include online information, walk-in consultations, workshops and individual counselling sessions. In addition, Science Career Service offers expertise and support to programmes that want to strengthen the connection between their curriculum and the job market. This can vary from providing specific guest lectures/workshops to advising on integrating career orientation programmes into the curriculum.

LU Career Zone

The Leiden University Career Zone is the website for students and alumni of Leiden University to support their (study) career planning. You will find advice, information, video recordings of webinars and tools such as professional tests to get an idea of your personal profile. You can also explore positions and sectors, you will find tips about CV, job application, LinkedIn and there is a vacancy platform that you can make use of.


Leiden University likes to prepare students and young alumni well for the job market. For this we use the knowledge and experience of Leiden alumni. To bring students and young alumni with questions about their careers into contact with experienced alumni, Leiden University has established the Mentornetwerk. Students and young alumni can register for free.


Do you have questions about your (study) career choices and has the above information not been able to help you further? Please contact the study advisor via .